Genova for you
Three main events worked combined to the rapid growth of the town of Genoa in the last 12 years, that is to say the 1992 "Colombiadi" - the celebrations in honour of the 500 years since the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, the 2001 G8 meeting and the 2004 Genoa European Capital of Culture event.
Genoa has been giving itself a new look, a new "make up" which has amazed the whole Europe, thus attracting a big flow of visitors.
The alleys of the old town called "caruggi" are the beating heart of Genoa and from via Prè through via del Campo until via Gramsci they have come back to life by painting themselves with new colours. Here, in the noise made by a crowd of new tradesmen, visitors and old craftsmen, it feels like living back the waiting of the ships. Moreover, Genoa has plenty of "doors" - you have just to open them. The one of Via Garibaldi, for instance, lets you in a multitude of wonderful palaces, which are the same that Rubens admired when he came to Genoa in 1604 and which he later represented on his paintings, thus making the town famous all over Europe.
You can stroll from the Lanterna - the lighthouse symbol of the town - to the wonderful Palazzo Ducale and even to the old harbour full of attractions. A little far from the town centre you will find Boccadasse, a picturesque little village lying on the coast, the best place according to the Genoese in that it still keeps its old charm.
GENOA NEVER LETS YOU COLD!
DISCOVERING THE TOWN
THE AQUARIUM OF GENOA
Visiting the Aquarium of Genoa is like going on an exciting journey in the depth of the sea. A unique experience which will make you discover a universe rich in life, strange forms and creatures. By strolling through the 70 tanks and the over 600 reconstructed natural habitats you will watch seals, dolphins, penguins, sharks, fishes of many forms and colours and a multitude of water species.
It is the name of the panoramic lift in the old harbour area from where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the town lying on the sea. Even though this lift will never take the place of the Lanterna in the Genoese's heart, it is becoming the symbol fo the modern town for many tourists.
GALATA MUSEO DEL MARE - THE GALATA SEA MUSEUM
With its 2,5 acres of expositive spaces, the Galata museum is the biggest sea museum in the Mediterranean area. It exhibits a variety of nautical instruments and charts, atlas, weapons and old paintings in 17 big halls and reconstructed harbour areas and shipyards integrated with spectacular sound and visual effects. Moreover, some multimedial and interactive positions are available on the first and second floors. You will enjoy an educational and exciting visit by which you can follow the history of navigation from the oar to the sail and from the steamers to the luxury cruises in the rooms of the old arsenal of the ancient Republic of Genoa.
MUSEO DELL'ANTARTIDE - THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ANTARCTICA
The Museo Nazionale dell'Antartide lies in the Old Harbour Area and it has been open for some years. It is hold in an expositive structure promoted and furnished by the University of Genoa and offers, in Italy, a unique panorama of Antarctica and of the scientific researches carried out by some Italian people since 1986. Covering an area of about 11,000 squared feet, the museum will bring you in an imaginary journey in the tracks of the participants to the Italian expeditions up to the Base of Terra Nova Bay, discovering a unique environment on Earth so important in regulating its climatic equilibrium.
CITTA' DEI BAMBINI - RECREATIONAL SPACE FOR CHILDREN
Play, science and technology - these are the three features of the biggest recreational space for children and teenagers in Italy. It consists of two large areas, the one called "three to five" for the younger guests and the other "six to fourteen" for the older ones.
IL TRENINO DELLE MERAVIGLIE - THE TOURIST CITY TRAIN
A funny way of discovering the town is to go on a tour on the tourist city train, which will you get you to know the historical, cultural and architectural sides of Genoa. The train runs through the streets of the old town and a guide will describe you the magnificent Genoese palaces, piazzas, churches and monuments.
Duration of the visit: 45 minutes
MUSEI DI STRADA NUOVA - THE MUSEUM STREET
One of the most charming urban historical street, the via Garibaldi was formerly the famous "Strada Nuova" celebrated by Rubens and is now Genoa museum street, lying in the very heart of the town. Once the seat of the Genoese nobility, it holds Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Bianco - two museums since the late 19th century, and Palazzo Tursi, which is the present townhall. The ideal link between these three palaces and the close Galleria Nazionale and the Museo di Palazzo Reale offers a unique expositive route as for quality and prestige, a masterpiece of the Genoese architectural culture.
CASTELLO D'ALBERTIS - THE D'ALBERTIS CASTLE
Perched on the hill of Montegalletto opposite the harbour, the Castello d'Albertis dominates the town of Genoa. Captain Enrico Alberto D'Albertis conceived it in a neo-Gothic style and it was built upon the remains of late medieval fortifications between 1886 and 1892 under the supervision of Alfredo D'Andrade. When the captain died in 1932 he donated the castle and his collections to the town of Genoa, thus giving back to it not only his residence fancifully enriched by himself with exotic, neo-Gothic and Hispano-Moorish references, but also a piece of the town history - a bastion of the 16th century walls including the basement remains of a medieval tower.
TWO MARVELS: PALAZZO DUCALE AND ST. LAURENT'S CATHEDRAL
Palazzo Ducale was the seat of governement as Palazzo dei Capitani del popolo in the Middle Ages. With the rise of the Dogeate to power - the first doge Simon Boccanegra was elected in 1339 - it became the present Palazzo Ducale of Genoa and the residence of the Doges, who were obliged since 1528 not to leave the palace for the two years of their mandate. The structure was altered by fires, destructions, reconstructions and restaurations over the centuries getting bigger and bigger up to its present size.
After undergoing one last 10-years-long restauration, Palazzo Ducale is now a historical building and a multi-purpose centre promoting cultural and social activities. Since 1992, when it was re-opened, important events and expositions have been taking place within its rooms, which also house libraries, archives, association seats and conferences. Once peopled by the magistracies of the Republic, the rooms now hold clubs, restaurants, art galleries, bookshops, information points, ticket offices and some Ligurian traditional shops. Next to the Palazzo and in the very heart of the medieval town you will find the splendid St. Laurent's Cathedral including its treasury, its sarcophaguses and its solemn atmosphere.
MUSEO DELLA LANTERNA - THE LIGHTHOUSE MUSEUM
Formerly a signal tower, a guardhouse, a prison, a theatre of acrobats, the "Lanterna" of Genoa is now the symbol of the town and its only lighthouse. The museum which it houses tells of the history of the town in a really new way. You will find yourself in a virtual gallery, your headphones on, listening to the stories and the anecdotes of the past, while pictures of the old town with its people, its harbour and its splendid palaces will scroll on some monitors. In the last rooms of the museum you can watch some items related to lighthouses and sea signal systems. At the end of the visit you can go up the first floor of the Lanterna.